Monday, March 25, 2013

Need an affordable method to get professional radio spots for outreach events?



Radio advertising can be a powerful method for getting the word out about outreach events at your church, but advertising spots can often end up sounding rather "amateur" with only the local air talent producing them.  Is there a choice for creating a wonderful advertising "spot" that really sounds good and doesn't break the bank? Yes!

I have 10 years experience in producing radio spots, and I have been assisting other ministry professionals in creating, writing, and producing radio spots for their ministries for quite some time.  Here is a list of some of the tasks that I can complete for any ministry that wants to grab radio listeners through this media outlet:
  • Complete copy-writing of radio scripts for a variety of commercial lengths.
  • Contacting / Auditioning / Hiring Professional Talent in the Voice Industry.
  • Procuring appropriate music beds & sound effects.
  • Mixing and production of all part into a finished product that meets industry standards
I'm making this available to ministry professionals as an act of service for God's Kingdom.  I have experience working with professional studios, and they can be VERY expensive.  My goal is not to make money (of course I cover my costs and time,) but to make great sounding radio spots available to you at a fraction of what it would cost somewhere else. If this is something you want to explore, please don't hesitate to contact me.

You can have a listen to the ministry outreach advertising samples at the site below.  Simply click on the link, and it will take you directly to the Airwave Outreach website.














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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I can't hear what you're saying...I'm too busy watching you!



In an important study, UCLA psychology professor emeritus Albert Mehrabian discovered that face-to-face communication can be broken down into three components: words, tone of voice, and body language.  Here are some surprising statistics:


  • What we say accounts for only 7 percent of what is believed.
  • The way we say it accounts for 38 percent.
  • What other see accounts for 55 percent.*
Do the math.  90 percent of the impression that we can convey to others has nothing to so with what we actually say.  Have we missed the boat when putting more stock in what we say while possibly ignoring how we say it?


















* Page 48-49...Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. 2010 by John C. Maxwell 



Monday, January 7, 2013

Dan Pink: On Motivation

Although Dan Pink is speaking to a mostly corporate audience, is he drawing parallels that could apply to ministry and outreach?  Let us know what you think...and if you're really brave, tell us why you take the position that you do.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

What can small businesses learn about relationship building?

I really enjoy learning new things. Here's a cool interview with Chris Guillebeau about marketing through e-mail. What can we learn from this interview about outreach? Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

E-mail Marketing Solution




Many people wonder how to begin an e-mail marketing campaign without breaking the bank. Easy? Not easy. D0-able? Definitely do-able!

In fact, it's easier now with a service called aWeber, (You can click on the above link and it will take you to the site where you can check it out for yourself.)

aWeber is a company that knows their business when it comes to e-mail based mailing lists and marketing. They have helpful tips and techniques that can assist you in building your cyber-mailing list and reaching out to people in inexpensive ways.

They have video tutorials that can assist you in learning how to do what needs to be done in setting up a good system for yourself. They have all the tools, and most of all IMPECCABLE customer service. I highly recommend this service and I honestly believe that if used correctly a good mailing list can make a world of difference in your outreach activities.

Give aWeber a test drive. If you don't want to continue it wasn't cost you anything. I LOVE win-win situations, and this is one of the best I've experienced.

If you would like the recent white papers that I have written so far on building and using a cyber mailing list, don't hesitate to add your name in the web form on the right of the page. And BTW, yes, that's an aWeber form that you'd be willing out to get on the subscriber list and it works great!

Ciao!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Creating Community or Filling the Pews

I've included an article from a good friend and mentor Marty Thurber. He's the pastor of the Capitol View and New Creation churches in Lincoln, Nebraska. I hope you enjoy this eye-opener as much as I did. It's great food for thought!





Creating community or Filling Pews
by Pastor Marty Thurber

Near the end of my year at flight school I entered into a month of tactical training. We learned to fly and navigate the helicopter about 3 inches above the tree tops at really cool speeds, 100 plus. Flying that close to the ground is a 19 year old's dream. The army had that airspace near the ground and the airforce had 50 feet and up. The closer you got to picking Pine needles with your skids, the happier I was.

The main thing was to learn how to read a map and keep the pilot on course when you were zooming over the territory and finding it difficult to get and keep your bearings, all the while, not getting painted by enemy radar so they could shoot you down. How cool is that? Video games today just don't do it for me. Sorry.

For the month, my co-pilot and I were assigned to one instructor. We never got much above the tree tops, what we called NOE, Nap of the Earth. Then one day, he tells me to climb to 3,000 feet. Really? That's nose bleed territory for an army pilot. what's up? Don't argue, do it was all I got. All right, you're in charge I thought. We got up there and he pointed to a building on a road, maybe 25 miles or so from the airfield we were flying out of . He made me look closely at it and mark well its location. It turned out that it was his church and if I wanted a good grade at the end of the month, I would start attending. No, he didn't say that in those words, but that's what was going on.

My co-pilot went, I didn't. I just wasn't ready for that kind of God. Too coercive for me. My theological vocab was limited in those days and I had no easy retort to my instructors demand, nor could I carry on a good discussion of why I wasn't ready for God in his church at that time.

At the end of the month as the tactics course came to a close, we all took check rides to see how well we could do in a battlefield simulation. Before the ride, the instructor would post what he expected you to make on the ride, kind of an educated guess. He listed me at 82 and my copilot at 92. Going to church got him an A, at least I didn't fail. As it turned out, I got a 92 on the check ride and he got an 82. Too weird I know. But God does some weird things some times.

As it turns out, I didn't become a part of the community God had planned for us for another 3 years or so. I was ready then as my marriage was struggling and my life was a bit of a directionless wreck. When we finally did turn our hearts over to Christ, we came into a church that became a community for us. We were not a notch on their evangelism gun, making sure that weekly attendance was up and that their church was adding new members by intimidation. We were a part of an extended family that we never knew we had or could enjoy. It blew us away to tell you the truth.

God is big into community. He gave Adam and Eve a great one to get started with and He plans on giving us a greater one if you look at the last chapters of Revelation. He's not threatening to mark us down if we don't show up, he's inviting us to come to His feast and join His family. I'm cool with that. And I'm thrilled to try to build that kind of community here in the meantime. Sometimes I wonder if it will happen, but I keep at it. It's worth it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creating An E-mail Mailing List From Scratch





We're having a series, and we especially want to target young adults (and capture their e-mail lists in the process.) I've posted a radio ad on our Event Center site along with a name capture spot for people to fill out so that they can have an additional 3 tickets on opening night of the seminar (gives them 3 more chances to win the Nano.

You can get a feel for it, better than I can explain it, so why not just go check it out on our Event Center site. Click here to visit the site.

Later on, I'll tell you exactly in detail how I created the campaign. It's a lengthy process, but we've been getting sign-ups...and this is our objective.

Be blessed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is there a difference? And does it matter?

video


video


video


Just recently I created the above radio spots for a friend of mine who is having an upcoming prophecy seminar series. Please listen to each one and tell us which one you like best.

You will notice that each ad has a distinct "feel" to it.

#1 - Some like this one because it has a quiet, foreboding beginning, (like a storm is on the horizon.)

#2 - Some prefer this one because of the almost shocking feel to the music at the start of the comercial.

#3 - Still others prefer this one because, although the music at first feels chilling in the way it presents itself, the music in the "turnaround" feels much more peaceful and comforting.

One thing you will notice about all three if them (if you listen carefully,) is that the vocal script never changes. Strange isn't it, that each one has distinction, and yet each of the voice talent work is exactly the same in every one.

What conclusions can we draw from this about the way we market something on the radio (or in print for that matter?)

Let me know your honest and candid thoughts about it. Thanks!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is Being Remarkable A Big Deal?

Why is being remarkable such a big deal to the modern consumer? What lessons can we take away from this Seth Godin video about our congregational futures? Being remarkable (or unremarkable for that matter,) isn't so much about marketing as it is about a congregation's core values.

Several of our leaders are going to be getting together next week and brainstorming about being a remarkable congregation. What ideas in this video could get your juices flowing if you were to be part of that meeting? Your thoughts and ideas are important to us...share them!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What in the World?????


Either there are new ways to reach an audience that I was unaware of, or someone didn't think about the venue details beforehand. What lessons could we learn from this obvious mistake.

Monday, August 3, 2009

From Cheerleaders to Champions




It's wonderful to have cheerleaders, but have you ever felt like you have more cheerleaders on the sidelines than actual players on the field? It's a sobering thought. Cheerleading gets the crowd pumped and excited, but without players there is NO game! How do we move people from cheerleaders to champions?

Here's some ideas that we've used that have worked well for us. I'm all ears for anyone else who wants to add their two cents.

1. Make the dream executable.

Without a vision for the future people don't get excited. Without goals to accomplish the dream, I question whether the dream will really happen. We recently had a visioning night where we asked the question, "what would you do in outreach if you knew that you could not fail?" Those attending went wild with their ideas, and we didn't shoot any of them down.

It's a great excercise, but now we need to go through the list and start paring it down to excutable chunks based on where we believe the Lord is taking us. We'll assign group leaders, appoint tasks, and break it down to the do-able. I believe that only then can people really sink their teeth into the dream.

2. Share the Dream Eyeball to Eyeball with Your Key Leaders

Nothing works quite like sharing personal time with your key leadership people. Make the effort to spend quality moments with those who will lead others in your congregation toward making the dream happen. Take them out to dinner, go to a place where you can both relax, and allow them to dream with you about where God wants to take your congregation.

Make sure that you are investing time with those who are the true leaders. John Maxwell says that if you think you're a leader and no one is following you...you're taking a walk. That's a pretty good gauge for discovering who your key leaders are. Find out who other people are following, and spend the time sharing the dream with them personally. Then release them to lead those who are already following them towards bigger and better things.

3. Celebrate Your Wins.

When the team wins, you all win. Celebrate the wins (even the small ones,) with everyone, and make a big deal out of those who were key players in helping to make it happen. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be real and honest. Thank those who put their efforts into the plan. Give a little applause time for those who worked hard, and you'll see even more comittment the next time around. People want to be appreciated.

4. Be accountable and expect accountability.

Sometimes things don't work out. That's life. But it shouldn't happen because we didn't try. Being accountable, and holding people accountable is vital to moving from cheerleading to champion. It's not always easy to look someone in the eye and say, "what went wrong here? I thought we agreed to this," but it's worth the discomfort. These crucial conversations can lead to personal vision sharing that move people forward. Just make sure you don't embarass them in front of someone else. That's just wrong.

I want to hear what you have to say. Let me know some of the tips and techniques that help you move your team. Ciao!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Doing the Right Thing = Visibility


I was so stunned that I could hardly believe what had happened, but I saw it with my own eyes and I know it's true!

Our Community Event Center has been looking for ways to be more visible in the community that we serve. In fact, on a visioning session for the Center on Thursday, July 9th we asked the question: "what can we do to get people through the Community Event Center so that they will know that we are here?"

The answer came the following day in the form of a quick telephone call. Just two days before, the town of Dickinson, ND had been hit with a tornado which destroyed (partially or totally) 450 homes and businesses.

The mall manager who came to our Leadership Lunch the following day was asking about donations for local people who were trying to get back on their feet after the devestation. I began mulling over what it might be like to lose every material possession that you had, and I talked it over with an elder in our Bowman congregation. He made a quick phone call to our Adventist Community Services director in the Dakota Conference...and then everything exploded!

Here's a timeline of exactly what happened during the day on Friday, July 10th:

10:12 a.m. - My elder in Bowman makes the phone call to our conference Community Services Director about the plausibility of doing something in Dickinson.

10:35 a.m. - I call the Director myself and speak to her personally. She informs me that they have a stockpile of Columbia jackets and clothing, as well as some disaster clean-up buckets stored at a location in Bismarck. I can go get a load if I like.

11:20 a.m. - I place a phone call to the head elder in my Dickinson congregation about renting a U-Haul to go pick up a load of items in our Bismarck location. He says he'll check it out on his lunch hour.

12:40 p.m. - My head elder calls me back and says that he has gotten a U-Haul rented for picking up the load. U-Haul has given him a special deal of $50. for 4 days rental. He takes the afternoon off and travels the 100 miles to get the load of clothing and cleaning supplies.

1:33 p.m. - I again speak with the conference Community Services Director, and she informs me that the State of North Dakota is now involved. We begin discssion about using our community Event Center in the mall for a major disaster relief distribution point.

2:15 p.m. - The mall manager texts me and asks about our plans for turning the Community Event Center into a distribution point. She's already getting phone calls from local residents.

3:30 p.m. - My head elder calls from Bismarck. He's almost there, and we discuss the situation. Excitement is beginning to build.

4:15 p.m. - I call another elder and ask him to open the Event Center. I discover that K-Mart is getting involved and wants to partner with us.

5:20 p.m. - I get a phone call from the elder at the Center. K-Mart is donating $10,000. in clothing and $3000. in personal care items. The Center is filling up quickly.

5:45 p.m. - I contact our conference Community Services Director and we discuss putting together a conference call for all team players at 8 p.m. that evening. I then go to www.freeconferencecall.com and quickly sign up for a free account. It's so simple that I can't believe I'm able to do it so fast.

5:55 p.m. - I test the conference call number and participation code by having three family members call in. It's up and running and we're ready to go.

6:05 p.m. - I contact team members and others who will need to be on the same page about getting together on a conference call that evening at 8 p.m. I share the call in number and get as many people on board as I can. I invite members from other congregations in my district to get on board if they wish.

8:00 p.m. - We all meet on the telephone for a team conference call, put plans together for how we're going to manage the Event Center. We decide to open the Center the next day at 10 a.m. and we put our team in place. We end with prayer and ask God to continue to do some amazing things for us through this outreach effort.

The Lightning Speed of God

All of this happened so quickly and came together so perfectly that we are totally convinced that the hand of God directed us every step of the way. The pieces fell together in such a way that as we look back, we an see God making paths for us to travel. And all of it has had an amazing effect on how the commnity sees the Event Center!

Here's what we've learned or been reminded of so far:

1. Sometimes you have to grab an opportunity and run with it because it's the right thing to do. We didn't realize that this opportunity would explode the way it did, (it almost felt like drinking from a firehose) but God had plans for it long before we knew how to take the first step.

2. There are good people who aren't in our congregation that want to be involved in positively serving the community alongside us. We had people from various religious persuasions who became involved in helping to serve the people affected by the tornado. They brought homemade quilts, lended a hand in distribution, and helped us in so many ways. It was a great lesson for all of us to learn.

3. Doing the right thing = visibility. We had been wondering how to get people into our Event Center so they could see that we desperately wanted to add value to our community. God showed us that doing the right thing was always the best option. We didn't go into it thinking that we would get residual outreach opportunities, but that is exactly what happened. We've been able to partner with local organizations and businesses who didn't even know we existed, and the results have been amazing.

Doing the right thing, because it's the right thing to do is what we believe Christ's ministry was all about.

Our people are still working together on this opportunity while I write this. I'll continue to keep you informed of how things are shaping up after it's all over. Peace!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Top 5 Things That Marketing Professionals Know About Consumers...and How It Can Effect Our Outreach!

I haven't written for a few weeks, but today I want to give you my top 5 list of things that marketers know about consumers, and how these things can effect our outreach. Feel free to add any of your own and share them with us.





5. The average consumer does not care about you or what you represent.

That’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s absolutely true. The average person that you would like to reach could care less that you would like to reach them and that you are working hard to make that happen.

It’s not really that they don’t care (per se,) it’s just that they have other things that they are thinking about. Most everyone is so wrapped up in what they are doing, and in those that they have relationships with (be it siblings, parents, children, spouses, co-workers or whomever), that they just don’t think about much else. Unless our message hits them right where they are living, they probably won't pay any attention to it.

This fact gives us pause to consider about how we can reach them right where they are (which should not be confused with where we would like them to be.) They are where they are, and we can’t change where they are through a couple of slickly produced ads run in strategic locations.





4. Most people are basically distrustful of things that you say to them through marketing…(even if what you are proposing would greatly benefit their lives.)

Let’s face it fair and square; people are inundated with media and advertising all day long. They’ve heard it all, they’ve seen it all, and they’re not buying most of it. The lessons they have learned in life have taught them that if it sounds too good to be true…that it probably is. This is why most marketers use testimonials.
If you the marketer say it’s true, the customer probably won’t listen. If someone with no stake in your message says something positive about it, it’s much more believable. This is why David Oreck has done so well with his vacuum cleaners. First, because they really are a great machine. Second, because Mr. Oreck understands that people are naturally skeptical, and so he provides plenty of testimonials from other happy users AND he also gives away a free test drive just so the customer can be sure.

Most customers want to believe what you say, but they are unable to based on their past negative experiences. The same is true of any outreach activity that we attempt to get people involved with. Many want to believe our claims, but they have a difficult time swallowing it all, and we should'nt expect them to.



3. People don’t often take BIG BITES with any marketing message unless they are fully convinced that it will add value to their lives. We must “nibble” our way toward gaining trust and respect.

The higher the perceived value of what the consumer is looking for, the more convinced the consumer will need to be before they take the step of purchasing what you have to offer. Like it or not, we are offering Christ to the public. Through our outreach activities, we are offering a new life in Him. That’s our main product, and it’s a tough sell.

A life changing spirituality has a VERY high perceived value in many people’s eyes, so they’re not going to be “sold-out” to Christ unless they are fully convinced that it will really be all that we have claimed that it will be. If selling our “product” were a simple process, we could just run ads in the paper and on radio and television that said “Is life not what you thought it would be? Come give Jesus a try. He makes everything worthwhile.”

Most of the general public wouldn’t buy a message like that, and neither would I. We have to give them little glimpses of why Christ’s claims can be trusted. That takes time, effort and personal investment on our part. It takes repeated messages that are consistant with what we believe AND live.



2. People will only do business with someone they trust.
I continually remind my members to build relationships with others in the community. That’s the problem with so many Christians; they don’t have many friends outside the church. Marketers have proven over and over again, that it’s easier for a customer to do business with someone they have a relationship with.

We often get so caught up with making sure that everyone knows our doctrines from the get-go, that we shut down a friendship that could have real potential. Trusting relationships take investment and time. We must always ask the question of ourselves, “how do I bring perceived (their perception) value to this person’s life?” Only when we can positively answer that question, can we hope to reach people. We must win the confidence of those we hope to bring to Jesus.



1. We must be “sold out” on our own "products."
I would have very little trust in the word of a person who was using something totally different than what they were selling. With that thought in mind, how many of our people are attempting to “sell” something that they don’t even use themselves?
It’s a question that we better have a good answer to. It’s one of the top reasons why people think that Christians are “phoneys.” If I truly believe that Christ can add real value to someone’s life, I must be convinced, (and continue to show through the way I live) that He has added real value to MY life. Only then can I be totally convincing in sharing my message. If I believe it, it will come through loud and clear to the potential believer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

6500+ CD's Out the Door Three Weeks Ago...and the Results?


A little over three weeks ago we mailed out 6500+ audio CD's entitled "The End of Time...How Close Are We?" to every mailbox within a fairly large radius. Each package included an audio CD and a response card. Here are the results up to this point:


* We've received a total of 7 responses back into our P.O. Box so far.
* 5 were of a very positive nature, one was not, one was negative.


How do we interpret these numbers?

These numbers reminded me of results we might get when sending out brochures for a prophecy seminar (I've spoken with brochure printers and producers, and a 1/10th of 1% response ratio is fairly normal.)

Is This Normal?

The fast answer? I don't know. I've never spoken with anyone who has sent out audio CD's of this nature in a fairly decent quantity. I don't have baseline data to draw from. I could talk about possible reasons why the response wasn't higher, but I'd be shooting in the dark.

It could have been the fact that we live in an agricultural area where people make their livings by the crops that they plant and harvest. Our plan was to have these CD's hit the mailboxes during the inclement weather rather than during the month of May when people were preparing their fields. Perhaps people were so busy with agricultural interests that they just didn't pay attention to the CD that they received in their mailboxes.

Or, maybe this IS a normal response for this type of media. Maybe this is a sign of the times that we are living in where people want to connect with one another rather than send back a response card to some ministry that they have never heard of.

Or, maybe it's too early to tell. Perhaps more will come in over the next few weeks, although the idea of that prospect seems like a longshot to me.

A silver lining?

We also received over 100 CD packages that were over-runs. These are basically blank address packages that are brand new. I've given them to a number of new people that we've made frieds with who have been taking Bible studies from us in the Dickinson area. I've told them, "This is a CD that I produced that I'd like to share with you. It's about 15 minutes long, and if you like what you hear I have more of these that you can share with your friends." The response has been fairly enthusiastic, and I'm encouraging people to talk about it with others that they know if it's something that they want to do. No pressure, no hype. Just friends telling other friends.

I'm still as convinced as I ever was that this is all about people. This little "test" has further cemented the idea in my own mind that we can't "brochure" people into listening to what we have to say. Relationships are KEY to church growth and we can't side-step that fact! Christinity is NOT a spectator sport, and the sooner our people come to grips with that concept, the better!



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tribes - What's All the Fuss About?





Tribe - A social group of humans connected by a shared system of values and organized for mutual care, defense, and survival beyond that which could be attained by a lone individual or family.

I picked up a copy of Seth Godin’s book Tribes at the Minneapolis Airport on my way out to New York a couple of weeks ago. I’m a big Seth Godin fan, but I have to admit when I heard about the subject of tribes I secretly wondered, “What’s all the ruckus about? I thought Seth was a marketing man?” Turns out, the ruckus was justifiable and Tribes is all about marketing and growing organizations…except not in the way we might normally think about it.

Seth’s premise in the book is that the new way to grow a business or organization is to build a tribe. Call it a holistic small group, call it a free-market team, or call it a tribe. Whatever you choose to call it, I believe this thing has the potential to revolutionize the way we do things, and the way we reach out to others for the kingdom of God.

Let me share a small number random quotes from Tribes to whet your appetite:

“Human beings can’t help it: we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and to their ideas, and we can’t resist the rush of belonging and the thrill of the new.” Page 3

“Fear of criticism is a powerful deterrent because the criticism doesn’t actually have to occur for the fear to set in. Watch a few people get criticized for being innovative, and it’s pretty easy to convince yourself that the very same thing will happen to you if you’re not careful.” Page 47

“Settling is no fun. It’s a malignant habit, a slippery slope that takes you to mediocrity.”
Page 78

“People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.” Page 138

This little book is only 147 pages long, but it packs a real punch when explaining what tribes are and why we need them if we’re going to grow our organizations in this constantly changing world.

I thought about putting together a list of some topical tribes that could be put into play within the confines of our ideology, but I restrained myself. The whole idea of tribes is for us to find like-minded people who share what we ourselves are passionate about, and frankly, I’m not sure that can be put into a list format.

I recommend this little book. Do I agree with everything? No! But there’s enough substance to keep a deep thinker “mulling” for some time about how the idea of tribes might fit into future outreach plans. In the meantime, if you’d like to read a FREE Tribes casebook /e-book (240 pages long) created by the Seth Godin “tribe” you can find it here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Event Was Most Successful?




Below is the second installment of my interview with Pastor Darren Purdy of Jamestown, North Dakota. On the first installment I asked him what event pulled more of the public than any other outreach event through their mall space outreach. His answer may surprise you! We then discuss the dynamics of why this event (and others like it) are important for effective outreach in the future. If you haven't heard the first installment, it's worth listening to, and it's also below. Let me know what you think.

Installment #2 - Interview with Pastor Darran Purdy About Mall Space Outreach

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Empty Indoor Mall Space - Is It a Viable Outreach Venue?


Check out the first installment of my interview with another pastor (Darren Purdy) who has had some success with a little used outreach venue. Above is a picture of the mall that he used for outreach activities. We had a no -holds barred interview that lasted about 45 minutes. Today's installment is about 12 minutes. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. It's below in the video window. It's audio only, but I couldn't figure out a way to upload video only, so I used the video function. :)
P.S. This interview was done on Skype and the sound quality is certainly not superior. (It makes our voices sound a bit nasal.) I was only able to upload about 12 minutes, and I left with a bit of a "cliffhanger" question at the end, but I'll post the second installment real soon...promise!

Installment #1 of My Interview w/ Pastor Darren Purdy

video

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Happened With Our Facebook Advertising Test?


I suppose it could have been an error on my part, but I'm NOT impressed with the outcome. Here are the stats for our Facebook PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing test:

Lame Marriage? Ad
470 Impressions / 0 Clicks

Leadership Lunch Ad
1896 Impressions / 3 Clicks

What could possibly be wrong here? Here are a couple of things that might affect the outcome, (but we'd never know unless we tested further.)

1. Ad not pulling. Perhaps the ad needs to be re-worked. Maybe a number of headlines need to be tested. Headlines can sure affect whether or not an ad actually gets read.

2. Not enough impressions. If you remember my original video clog on this subject (if you don't it's below,) you'll recall that I opted for PPC (Pay Per Click) rather than impressions. Perhaps my bid for PPC was not large enough to get a good number of impressions. The law of averages CAN affect whether or not there is a strong click-through ratio.

3. Maybe Facebook advertising just doesn't pull that well! I don't want to be a "doom and gloomer" about this (especially since I have very little experience with it at this point,) but maybe, just maybe, Facebook doesn't pull. I know I don't click through on ads, and perhaps other people are like that too.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions as to a better way to appraoch marketing on Facebook, or you've done it successfully, I'm all ears. I'll keep testing, but at this point I'm not terribly impressed.
It's not good news, but at least it's honest! My favorite quote, "It is what it is!" does wonders for me when I get a little bit antsy about this sort of thing. I really wanted it to work, but we don't always get everything we want. Bye for now!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rolling Out the CD's...WHEW!


Well, months of work and laboring is about to come to fruition in the next few weeks. I have been in contact with our media people, and we're rolling the test today. By next week, 6500 mailboxes (and perhaps a number of post office trash cans) will hold the CD packages that we are sending out in our areas entitled, "The End of Time, How Close Are We?"

For those reading who didn't know, my ministry is based in North Dakota in some very rural areas. In sending out these 6500 CD's we are hitting locations within a 75 mile radius around us. These CD's contain a 15 minute audio presentation (you can check out the entire audio program below in under the professional voice-over topics,) and a response card.

Literally weeks and weeks have gone into this launch. Here are some of the things that we had to accomplish in preparation for the roll-out. It will give you an idea of how involved something like this can be.

1. Write and edit the script. I actually did this last year. It took a couple of days to get it right, have my wife edit it, do a timed reading to make sure it was a reasonable length etc.

2. Audition voice talent for the "read." I auditioned over 150 voices for this project. I found a man in Nashville who has a "golden throat." There were some good auditions, but his voice quality really spoke to me. I auditioned all the voices at Voice 123.

3. Cut tracks and mix the final cut with royalty-free music beds. I used Cool Edit Pro for the mixing job on our computer. This software is now called Adobe Audition, but I was able to get it cheaper by buying it under the Cool Edit Pro label. This also could easily be accomplished with a FREE audio mixing softare called Audacity (BTW, the Audacity software is a FREE download at the link I provided.)

4. Contact Media Company. We are using TW Media for this particular project. My rep's name is Dean Sargent and I can't say enough positive things about him at this point. He's been patient with us on this project, and basically helped steer this project every step of the way. He's not pushy, and I have enjoyed working with him. Lots of communication, and honest assessments of what will work, and what won't.

5. Hire a graphic artist. I actually used somebody local. TW Media provided me some free templates to use for the packaging, disc, and response card. My graphic designer did the rest. She's a talented individual, and the entire graphics project for everything cost less than $100. (You can see the packaging and response card pics under this post. This disc graphics are above.)

6. Get a Postal Permit. We purchased a postal permit that allows us to receive mail back without the responder paying the postage. When we receive a response back, it costs us about 70 cents. Time will tell what kind of a response we'll receive.

7. Final approvals for the entire deal. We had a sister district that wanted to send out about 1500 CD's as well, so we just tacked their order on to ours. We'll send any responses their way when they come in. We contacted TW Media, paid the bill, and yesterday we received word that the roll-out is happening today.

So, what will be the response?

Two words..."I Dunno." LOL That's the funny thing about doing something yourself from start to finish; you really don't know how it's going to turn out. The way we have it figured, if we could get over a 1 % response ratio, that would be HUGE!

Please keep this project in your prayers. I will honestly report on the results, and I'll share what we're doing with the responses that we receive. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to review our program ideas. Your responses are always welcomed and encouraged. Ciao!

CD Packaging Specs


Response Card


Monday, April 20, 2009

What Do Running Shoes and Effective Outreach Have in Common?




What do $175 running shoes and effective outreach in your area have in common? Plenty, it turns out! Newton running shoes are lightweight and are built using the mantra of Sir Isaac Newton; “For every ACTION there is an equal and opposite REACTION.” This footwear was created, not to be the norm, but the exception to it. The loyal following that this brand has created is nothing short of amazing. I’m not a runner, but if I was, I would be inclined to take a serious look at these shoes.
Newton has an intentionally “built in” component with its product that expands the brand’s popularity, increases its viral message, and in short, sells more running shoes. It’s called “community.” Check out the Newton site and be amazed at the loyal Newton “evangelists” that gush about the bright colored brand. There are testimonials from amateur and professional runners alike that all basically say the same thing; “I LOVE running and NEWTON makes that experience even better. If you LOVE running too, join us!”
Some people call this a “community,” some call it a “tribe,” some call it a “family.” Whatever you call it, building a small group with commonalities seems to be an effective method for building relationships between people from all walks of life.
I witnessed it first-hand this past Friday night at Community Event Center. Our “Fireproofing Your Marriage” seminar series was just wrapping up, and after 4 nights of concentrating on what it takes to have a great marriage the couples who attended were building relationships in ways that were really quite amazing! They talked, laughed, and joked with each other in a relaxed and fun atmosphere of learning and camaraderie. These 10 different people (from very different walks of life) had a found a common bond. It was refreshing to see!
Here are 3 lessons about small group success that this seminar series reinforced in my mind:
  1. Have qualified leaders. Our Youth / Young Adult Director and his wife led this seminar series with panache and integrity. They were kind, loving, fun, and honest with themselves and with those who attended.
  2. Be intentional in creating conducive small group environments. The leaders of this marriage seminar made sure that the meeting areas were quiet, relaxed, and intimate. They played soft music during breakout sessions, created quiet spaces for each individual couple, and structured an environment where the subject of marriage could be embraced by the participants.
  3. Be accepting of everyone. Out of the 8 participants there were only 3 church members. The small group leaders structured a safe and loving atmosphere that allowed people to let down their guards and really say what was on their hearts. This ability to accept people where they are, with what they are currently going through is key to a successful small group.

As I briefly spoke with each couple and snapped pictures of them, I was taken with the thought that I was watching successful outreach at work. I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Generational Gut-check!

The Beloit College in Wisconsin has an interesting method of helping it's professors wrap their minds around new generations coming into the classroom. It's called the Beloit Mindset List. It basically outlines some of the cultural norms that an upcoming class sees as it's reality in life.

Take the graduating class of 2012 for instance. Here are just few of the norms that this generation understands as reality in their world according to the Mindset List:

  • All have had a relative - or have had a friend with a relative - who died comfortably at home with hospice care.

  • WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.

  • There have always been gay rabbis.

  • Schools have always been concerned with multi-culturalism.

  • Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.

  • Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.

  • The Tonight Show was always hosted by Jay Leno before the "new guy" started.

  • Caller ID has always been available on phones.

  • Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.

  • Since they were in diapers, people have been annoyed at parties by karaoke machines.
If this list makes you feel old, you're not alone. Reading it made me pause and wonder where the time went. It also caused me to recall that verse in 1 Corinthians 9 that says:

"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

It doesn't necessarily mean that I have to act like something that I'm not, but it does mean that I should at least try to understand the generational differences between myself and those I come in contact with. If people in our churches could grasp and internalize this one concept, what positive possibilities could exist in our congregations?

To see more of the Beloit College Mindset List go here.



Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Want Professionalism in Your Audio Outreach Marketing Work? Here's What To Do!


If there's one thing that I hate it's doing things in a "shoddy" way! Our message is worth investing in, and I'd rather pay a little bit more to make it right the first time.

Do you want to have a professional on your side when it comes to audio work? Good voice-over work from a qualified voice actor / actress will bring polish and professionalism to your project. A clearinghouse voice-over "bridge" exists online if you want to hire someone. I've used them a number of times and I've always been pleased with the results!

Voice123 exists for the sole purpose of helping you find quality voice actors / actresses to do your voice-over work for you. I put the prophecy audio presentation on yesterday (it's below and runs about 15 minutes.) Take a listen if you haven't already. It will give you an idea of the quality that can be delivered.

How does it work?

This is so simple, it's almost funny. Here's a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Go to Voice123 and register for a FREE membership. (Auditioning voice actors /actresses is absolutely FREE, and you pay them directly. Voice 123 derives it's incomes from the voice-over people who have their audtion material there.

2. Post a project. Here's a project that I posted on Voice 123 last year for the prophecy voice-over work that I had done:

Hello, I am producing a 20 - 30 minute CD about Bible prophecy and my budget is tight. I need a smooth, authoritative voice for a very serious subject. Future work will be offered to the right candidate if this project goes well. I have purchased voice work a time or two before, and I try to be as simple and easy to work with as possible. I know what I want and will explain it in detail. The budget for this first project is very tight (I'm dealing with a comittee I'm trying to sell on the idea), but I expect it to be larger if the comittee gives me a green light. Thanks for looking.

3. Wait for auditions from voice actors. (Believe me, they will find you! LOL) I had auditions from over 150 voice actors when I posted the prophecy project. Check out the audition page for the actor that I eventually chose. As you can tell from the audio sample I left yesterday (please see below,) this voice actor has a voice of gold. He's from Nashville, TN and he has worked with the best of the best in the industry. He's no stranger to voiceover "reads" and he brings a tremendous amount of professionalism to the table.

4. Choose your voice actor / actress. You supply a budget amount range in your original project post that you are willing to pay. Don't sell youself short on voice-over work. It can be had for less than you may think. Those interested in the voice-over work will send you auditions with a budget range that they are willing to work for. Choose the voice that works for your current project.
You'll need to contact them through the system and perhaps even talk with them personally about your project. Payment goes directly to them when the project is finished, and you'll have several options available to you for the delivery of the finished product etc. You can even add options of mixing in music (if you so desire.) I only receive the raw voice work from those I work with. I mix, add music and produce the rest myself for a finished product that I am comfortable with.

5. Receive rough draft and make revisions if necessary. Remember, your voice actor / actress is a professional. If they make a mistake, they will fix it. This is NOT the time to be micro-critical. These actors / actresses won't give you unlimited revisions. They're professional, but they have other comittments too! If it's a longer "read" the chances are verygood that they'll need you to upload from an FTP site (sending it by e-mail won't get the job done unfortunately.)

6. Pay them. It is of vital importance that you pay these people hyper-fast when the job is completed! They rely on your good reputation and ability to make it happen quickly. You should have made payment arrangments during the actor / actress "choice" phase. Those that I have dealt with I have paid through Paypal.
Check them out!
If you have ever wanted to do this type of thing for your outreach efforts, let me encourage you to skip on over to Voice123 and give them a "look-see." My post here is not all inclusive and you'll need to do a little more homework on your own.

Just below this post is a 30 second sample of an audio commercial that I produced using a female voice. This woman actually acted on Grey's Anatomy and has a believable, done-to-earth voice. I mixed, and added royalty-free music (which BTW you can get at the Music Bakery) Take a listen and tell me what you think. If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask me. You can drop me an e-mail if you need to. Happy to answer what I can! That's it for today. Ciao!

30 Second Branding Commercial Sample

video

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Can We Reach People With An Ordinary CD?


Are CDs the next 8-track tape? Many people in the tech world believe that CDs are becoming less and less viable. Are they really? Sure, iPods are a dominant force for music, podcasts, and audio books, but I happen to be of the opinion that CDs are still being used more than the "experts" may recognize.

We're getting ready to roll out a fairly major project. (At least it's major for us!) Last year I wrote a script about the end of time that I have mixed and produced into a 15 minute presentation. I had a voice actor do the "read" on the script, added royalty-free music bytes, mixed, and voila!

Within the next 2-3 weeks we will be sending out 5000 free CDs to postal customers within a 75 mile radius (yes, that's about the entire population in an area that large!) Each post office box will receive a free CD with the 15 minute presentation along with a response card that comes back to our own local post office with a "No Return Postage Necessary" permit.

Responders have the option of letting us know if they want more information, if they would like to study Bible Prophecy in the comfort of their own homes (we have three people trained to follow-up on these personally,) or if they can check an option of attending a live prophecy seminar (if one becomes available.)

In short, this CD is a lead-generation tool. It gives a brief overview of general signs in the world that point towards end-time events.

In subsequent posts, I'll go into exact detail of how I produced the audio on this CD. For now, have a listen below and tell me what you think. (It'll take about 15 minutes of your time if you listen to all of it. Ciao!

Audio Presentation

video

Friday, April 3, 2009

What Dr. Phil Knows About Outreach


I don't know if Dr. Phil is a spiritual man or not, but he knows how to ask an effective outreach question!

How's that workin' for ya?

That's the question he asks people who are struggling with life issues, but it's also one that can be used as a good outreach assessment tool.

When we get a plan or a program that we're excited about for outreach, we usually try it, and then ask ourselves this probing question. If we can't come up with a positive answer, it's probably time to change a few things. If we've been doing the same outreach activity over and over again and it's still not working, it may be time to scrap it altogether.

"You can go from failure to success faster than you can go from excuses to success." John Maxwell

That potent quote from John Maxwell resonates with me. We can learn from our failures, but we don't have to keep making excuses as to why some outreach or evangelistic program didn't work...or continues not to work everytime we try it.
It is what it is, and we can't make it what it isn't. We don't have to be ashamed if it didn't work out, but we should pay attention and be comitted to learning from our mistakes.

I'm not a huge Dr. Phil fan but I have to admit, when we ask his famous question of ourselves and answer it honestly it does seem to help us cut through the clutter of making good outreach decisions.














Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Outreach Marketing With Facebook

Social marketing is a phenomenon that many people are touting as the "next big thing." I've been dabbling with the idea of using it in Facebook, but was unaware of some of the variables that were available.

You can actually target an advertisement to a variety of "selects" (a term they use in target marketing,) including specific city where they live, marital status, age, education etc. In the following video I am using a screenshot video recorder called BB Flashback. You can download a free 30 day trial here .

I'm still learning how to use this screenshot recorder, and I actually make a number of mistakes in the video but hey, I'm still learning. The video comes out a little bit cramped ( I couldn't figure out how to "full screen it",) but I hope you'll get the idea. Thanks for watching!


video

If We Could Only See With the Eyes of Jesus

I stumbled upon the video below and it touched my heart with just how many hurting people we have in this world. If we could only have the ability to see what is going on in their lives how would it change our perspectives?

To view people, not as numbers, or marks in the "win" column, but to see them for who they are is the bedrock of great outreach! Take a few minutes and watch this video. I just had to share it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keeping the Little Ones Happy!


This idea might appear to be a small thing, but it has helped us retain our kids in their bible classes before church. One member took it upon themselves to lay out a small basket with a few healthy snacks in it. I've seen fresh fruit, healthy muffins, and granola bars in the snack basket, and it's placed strategically near the classrooms. Next to the basket is a little sign that says, "Hungry? Have a healthy snack and tame the growlies," or something like that.

It's a hit with the kids and from all appearances it seems to be helping them enjoy class and church afterwards a little bit more. The astute individual that started bringing the healthy snacks recognizes that some children don't eat breakfast before they hurry out the door and head for church. even the ones that do have breakfast might be feeling a little hungry after class is over.

This is outreach in my book. This is reaching outside yourself and thinking about the needs of others perhaps even before they recognized that they would have a need! Even something small like this says, "I care about the fact that you may not have had breakfast and I want to help because I care about you!" The individual that placed the basket of breakfast snacks did it without a board decision or prompt from anyone. She saw a need and filled it! What a wonderful way to say, "I'm so glad you came today!"


Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Quick Peek at the Community Event Center

I was able to lay down a bit of video from our Community Event Center over the weekend. This video was done with a simple Flip video camera (they're about $140. in Wal-mart,) on board Microsoft Movie Maker software, and royalty-free background music. We hold (or will be holding) a variety of outreach events in the Center. Here are a number of those events:

  • eBay Selling Seminar
  • Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace
  • Fireproofing Your Marriage
  • Quit Now Smoking Cessation
  • Leadership Lunch
  • Beginner Computer Classes
  • Beginner Guitar Lessons
  • Holiday Cookie Decorating
  • Parenting Seminars
  • Healthy Snacking Classes
  • Free Concerts
  • Gymnastics show
  • Prophecy Seminars
  • Bible Studies

Our goal is to make the Center a place where people can get family-friendly programming in a non-threatening environment. No gimmicks, no hype, no up-sells. We hope to be in this for the "long-haul" and our hope is to build trusting relationships with our neighbors. We're making mistakes, but we're learning!


video

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Are You Doing This? Here's the Answer We Used When This Question Came Up

It's a question that we all eventually get when we reach out into our communities. People aren't stupid and they want to understand our motives for doing seemingly selfless acts. And make no mistake about it, if your only motivation for doing outreach is to attempt to make members out of people your motivation will eventually be discovered! Other people are no different than us; they don't like to be used as a means to an end.

Why are you doing this?

I first received this potent, probing question when we held our first eBay seminar in September 2007 from a local college professor who was sitting in the audience that evening. She exclaimed it loudly, and with a hint of sarcasm in her voice after she discovered that I was a pastor. I knew the question would come eventually, and I had thought long and hard about what my response would be. It had to be real, it had to be authentic.

Let me ask you the same question: Why do you do the things you do in outreach?

Is your motivation to make members out of people, to get them to a prophecy seminar eventually, to hopefully have the opportunity to share doctrinal truths with them? Hey, I'm not knocking this motivation, but I do think we're being less than honest if it is and we don't share it with people who ask. Most of the general public can smell a "bait-n-switch" a mile away.

So, what was my answer?

Here's what I said (almost word for word) to the college professor in front of a group of about 50 people that night at the Holiday Inn as we held our first eBay session:

" Thank-you for the question, it's a good one. How many of you have ever seen the movie "Pay It Forward ?" (About half in the room raised their hands.) " I've really looked at the premise of this movie, and I think it's a good one. I'm a pastor, and there's no doubt that I minister to a local congregation. But not only am I a pastor, I'm a Christian. The One that I claim to follow had a pretty good track record for making a difference in the communities where He served.

He healed people, he fed people, he taught people. In other words, He "paid it forward."
As a Christian I happen to believe that adding value to the communities that I serve is a wonderful way to follow His example. Now, I won't side-step any sincere person who wants to talk about Jesus with me. I'm a pastor, and if someone comes to me, I'll talk about it with them

But my main motivation in doing this is to bring value to the community and be a positive example of what I think Jesus was like. He was a giver, He was a teacher, and He brought good things to the comunities that He served. I want to do that too, and my hope is that you will choose to pay it forward in this community as well. We've brought you this seminar tonight without cost or obligation. We hope you'll add value to this community in turn. The world would be a better place if we all paid it forward!"

Then I stopped talking and let it sink in for a moment

I looked this college professor in the eyes as I said those words, and I believed every word I said. At our church, we ascribe to the idea that following the example of Jesus in our outreach efforts is the only way to fly. Jesus didn't heal people with stipulations, He didn't teach them with pre-requisites. He added value whether or not they chose to follow Him...then or in the future.

What happened next?

After I answered this college professor, she exclaimed; "I've seen that movie, and I applaud you for the work that you are doing. It's about time Christians did good things regardless of what they receive because of it! That example makes me want to go out and do the same!" The room erupted in applause that lasted (what seemed like) a very long time. People were smiling and nodding their approval, and we signed up 30 people into subsequent small groups for future eBay classes.

Gut-check

What is our motivation for reaching out? To me, anything but honest, selfless service without need for a "payoff" to those around us is not authentic. I want the church to be seen as a place where people do good things because they love Jesus and it's the right thing to do. I believe when we show selfless service for Him results will inevitably follow.

Let me know what you think.